There are many benefits to seeking change for an individual or organization. Having a willingness to move from the status quo requires being aware of the need to adapt and remain relevant in an ever-changing society. This need to adapt and remain relevant in an ever-changing society became our challenge in shifting our Core Learning department’s culture to develop 21st-century practitioners. In short, our faculty needed to shift their legacy instructional practices to better anticipate and meet the corresponding needs of 21st-century learners by fostering those skills themselves, including creativity, analytic thinking, collaboration, communications and ethics, action, and accountability (Crockett, 2016). The award-winning APUS Group Coaching and Mentoring Framework (GCMF) became the strategy to affect that desired change.
Editor’s Note: From time to time in this space, we want to share stories from our alumni as they relay their experiences with APUS and how they have impacted their careers and personal lives. This week, we feature the story of AMU Criminal Justice honors graduate Benjamin Thomas Wolf from the class of 2013. We encourage you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your own APUS journey with us as well.
As a current candidate for the United States Congress from the 5th District of Illinois and former FBI official and U.S. Department of State foreign service officer, I am devoted to continued sacrifice, duty, and public service.
American Military University impacted my life in two important ways. Firstly, it provided a mechanism and a platform from which I could pursue a master’s degree while being deployed overseas. I spent most of my service and professional career in conflict and war zones like Iraq, in addition to North Africa and over 65 other countries. As education is a core value within my family, I am thankful to have found a university such as AMU that allowed the continuation of formal higher education while living and working around the world.
The enthusiastic response from APUS faculty to the end-of-year “Service Challenge,” offered insight into the solid culture of service within our ranks. As part of the APUS Wellness Program, the Challenge grew out of a trend within workplace wellness circles that point to the ability for one to connect with his or her purpose as a key ingredient of well-being. Add that to a growing body of research showing the positive impact of selfless service and volunteer work on personal health and well-being, and a challenge was born. While faculty typically account for, at most, 25% of participation levels in our programs, they comprised nearly 50% of Challenge participants during the last quarter of 2016. Among the 30 who participated, three shared their experiences for this article.
With the beginning of a new year and a new leadership team in place, we have launched the first-ever APUS Leadership Listen and Learn (LLL) initiative. What is it, who is involved, and why do this?
The purpose of the LLL strategic program is for the university community and leadership team to meet in a more intimate and collaborative gathering focused on the APUS vision and direction, exploring what we need to do as a university in both the near-term and coming years to continue to strengthen our focus on academic excellence, student success and organizational effectiveness. To accomplish this goal, I, Provost Vernon Smith, COO Bob Gay, Chief of Staff Gwen Hall and other members of my leadership team will host students, faculty, staff, partners, alumni and other integral university stakeholders on our Charles Town campus and in locations across the country where we have significant populations of students and/or faculty, with additional virtual sessions to be conducted remotely.
This week, following the recent arrival of Dr. Vernon Smith as new APUS provost, Mr. Robert Gay (Bob) joined the university as chief operations officer (COO). Bob’s primary role is to lead our focus on strategic enrollment growth, consistent with our established mission to provide an affordable, accessible and relevant education. The COO oversees the strategy of the university and leads and/or interfaces with teams focused on admissions, financial aid, marketing, military, corporate and community college outreach, transfer credit, and alumni relations. To achieve strategic enrollment growth in an ever-changing higher education and learning environment, he will focus on simplifying the prospect and student experience so that it is seamless and free of unnecessary administrative roadblocks.
A university provost leads the academic community of faculty, directors and deans, is responsible for the library and its staff, for academic and instructional design and quality and, ultimately, for ensuring the strategic priorities and goals of academic excellence are achieved with a special focus on learning outcomes assessment. To achieve academic excellence in an ever-changing higher education and learning environment, the provost also leads innovation advancement initiatives for faculty and curriculum.